Disaster Averted

Posted by Rebecca

Last night I was reminded of one of the best parts of my simple, small life: my neighbors and I are in this together.  There is a real sense of community in my little trailer park, as we all strive for the same thing.  Most of us ended up there because of less than stellar financial, personal, or health-related dilemas, and we are each others’ cheerleaders, commisserating on the difficulties of trailer life, while reminding each other of all the awesome benefits.

Wednesday night I came home to a horrible smell in my house.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that the stench was propane.  Not just a little propane, but an immediate headache-inducing quantity of propane.  Not good!

Tanille’s husband, James, and dad, Cary, came over to take a look, but figured that I had left a burner on just slightly.  However, Thursday morning when the smell was back I knew I had a legitimate problem. 

So last night, Cary and Tanille’s mom, Rebecca, came over to see what they could find and offer moral support.  I had turned off the propane from the tank before I left for work in the morning – last thing I needed was a “Your trailer just exploded and set the whole neighborhood on fire” text, so it was the only sensible option.  We turned it back on last night and were able to isolate the leak – somewhere on the right side of the stove.

The propane was left on long enough to heat the water in my hot water tank, and then turned off again so as not to asphyxiate Cassi and I in the night.  The water stayed warmish until this morning when I showered, and now I await a call from Cary and Rebecca’s propane-fixer-guy friend.  Whew!  It’s the weekend so I can shower elsewhere if I have to and just use the microwave to make food, but hopefully this problem will be remedied soon.

But my point is this….  I was ready to Freak. Out! yesterday morning.  Any house issue that involves electricution or spontaneous combustion puts me into immediate panic.  All I wanted to do was stick my head in the sand and cry, but that wasn’t an option – I didn’t have any sand.  So I texted friends until someone could help, and Cary and Rebecca came to my rescue.  And they brought wine.  Yay for awesome neighbors!  Yay for my wonderful little community!  And yay for friends who really care!  🙂

Rebecca Knabe


Beware of Dog

Posted by Rebecca

I have solidified my trailer park status today.  I posted my very own “Beware of Dog” sign on my front gate.

Anyone who knows Cassi would chuckle to see this sign.  At the vet yesterday, the doctor and staff cooed about how sweet she is; so much lovelier than other Ridgebacks; such a gentle disposition.  And it’s all true. 

However, Cassi does have a fiercely protective side.  I’ve seen it a few times in the 10 1/2 years we have been together.  Once was during a couple-month bout I had with chronic migraines in 2002.  My then-husband’s friend was visiting and he came into my bedroom to say ‘hi.’  Cassi perched herself between the two of us the entire time he was there, not taking her eyes off of him.  Another time was when Cassi was just a puppy.  I was walking her in my rural Oregon neighborhood and a nasty dog backed us into the entryway of a vacated house.  Cassi stayed between that mean dog and I, barking, growling and bearing her teeth until I was able to flag down some help.  A third time, I was getting ready for work while a heating and air guy was doing repairs.  He stepped into the garage to check something and Cassi wouldn’t let him back in the house.  He had to stand there and yell for me to ‘come get my dog.’

That being said, though, I’ve never had the need for a “Beware of Dog” sign.  Well, until now.  Cassi’s precarious gastrointestinal issues (which remain undiagnosed even after her appointment yesterday) have left me with no choice but to leave her outside.  I’ve been worrying that some unsuspecting solicitor, utilities man, or friend may open the gate and surprise her – getting, of course, a mutual surprise in return.  And while her bark is bigger than her bite, her bark is scary and deep and loud.  But my biggest fear is that the unsuspecting individual would accidentally leave the gate open, and Cassi would spend the rest of the day trolling the neighborhood for snacks and sandwiches.

So up went the sign today, with all its unspoken threat and menace.  It’s just not worth the worry of her getting out of the yard.  And I’m sure it helps keep the riff-raff out.  Besides, I think it suits the ol’ pink trailer, don’t you?

Rebecca Knabe

Tiny House Swoon

Posted by Rebecca

This is a new website I recently came across, that displays pretty pictures of some itty bitty homes.  I love it!

Tiny House Swoon

If you have your own tiny house that is swoon-worthy, submit a pic to the website, and your home may also be featured.

This is my favorite tiny house….  I’m envisioning myself sipping cocktails on the little green deck….

Rebecca Knabe

Sick Baby

Posted by Rebecca

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for the last week or so.  I’m tired.  I have a sick baby at home.  My 10 1/2 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Cassi, hasn’t been her usual, healthy self.

When a human baby is sick, you can stay home from work or other obligations.  When a canine baby is sick, your friends and family would think you were crazy if you interrupted your life in the same way.  And it would be cooky.  But, believe me, a sick pup is a lot of work!

In mid-February, Cassi went to the vet because she had coughed up blood a few times.  I worry about being overly cautious about her because vet visits are not cheap.  But since she has some heart problems, and I was told to watch for coughing, I was pretty concerned about the blood.  So I took her to the vet and they x-rayed her chest; heart and lungs looked good.  No explanation for the blood, but they put her on some meds just in case.

In the meantime, she became a regular Poopdeck Pappy, and began having accidents all over the place.  No fun for her or me!!

Three times within a ten-day period, I came home to horrible messes in the trailer.  Poor Cassi, who looked at me with guilty eyes, sure she was in big trouble.  Poor me, who had to contend with the mess.  After hours and hours of cleaning and laundry, and wiping out my cleaning supplies, Cassi and I have a new arrangement….  She is left outside on warmer days, for the first time in her life.  Today is the 4th day of her new outside accommodations.  So far so good. 

Another adjustment is her diet.  I have had several conversations with the vet in the last few weeks, and she is currently on more antibiotics, and soon to be switching to probiotics.  But I also had to switch her to a bland diet of boiled chicken, rice and pureed pumpkin.  No problem, right?  Except that I haven’t eaten meat in 4 years, let alone purchase or cook it.  Yuck!!! 

Well, for now we are surviving.  Quite frankly it’s exhausting having a sick, mess-making puppy at home.  But life goes on.  The hardest part, though, is facing Cassi’s mortality.  A Rhodesian Ridgeback’s life expectancy averages 10-12 years.  Cassi will be 11 in June.  I keep telling her that she is going to live forever, but I’m worried she’s not listening.  I try not to think of my home without her, but it’s hard these days when she is not her happy, healthy self. 

I got Cassi in September of 2001, when she was just 4 months old.  We have been best buddies ever since.  And I’m hoping she will get back on her feet, beat this bout of illness, and carry on for another long long time.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  🙂

BTW, if anyone has any suggestions for a meat-free bland diet, I’m all ears.  The tricky part is it has to be high protein and low fiber.  Let me know in the comments if you can help.  🙂

Rebecca Knabe

Doublewide Blues

Posted by Rebecca

Tanille played me this song the other night, by Todd Snider.  Doublewide Blues.  Take a gander at the lyrics….  🙂

Doublewide Blues… I got the blues, Doublewide.

V-neck t-shirt, with a mustard stain.
Rollin’ up a hose, outside in the rain.
He’s been my neighbor since ’bout ’79.
‘Course he was in prison most of that time.

Ever since then he just ain’t been right.
His old lady works days and they fight most nights.
Laid off and blown off, pissed off on booze.
Doublewide blues.

Metallica song blasting from three trailers down.
It’s them cut off t-shirt nunchucks kids comin’ ’round.
Tonight they’ll get drunk, try to get laid
End up in a fight, out behind some arcade.

You know one of them little $#!*$ broke my window last spring,
I told his momma and she didn’t do anything.
She works two jobs, the boy runs loose.
Doublewide blues.

Doublewide Blues… I got the blues, Doublewide.

My buddy Jimmy, now his trailer’s cool –
He got him a deck with one of them blue plastic pools.
He works construction, builds speck homes
His old lady left him, now he’s down there alone.

My friend Anita, she loves him, but he don’t know,
He’s too busy chasin my neighbor’s wife, Flo.
Soap opera heaven without all the clues.
Doublewide blues.

Doublewide Blues… I got the blues, Doublewide.

Wild Bill, the manager, he keeps to himself.
The war took his smile, like ’em pills took his health.
Too old to run with the Klan anymore
Still got a Confederate flag hangin’ outside his door.

I sit here watchin’ all this nuthin’ go on.
I don’t get out much now since momma’s been gone.
Sometimes its nice, havin’ nuthin’ to lose.
Sometimes doublewide blues.

Doublewide Blues… I got the blues, Doublewide.

Take me home boys,
I think I’m drunk

I think the real reason he’s got the blues is because he lives in a doublewide.  Doublewides are for amateurs – Singlewide is the only way to go!

Rebecca Knabe